Lesson 3: Aviation Fundamentals - Angle of Attack & Primary Flight Controls



In this final lesson on aviation fundamentals, students will learn how the angle of attack of the wing affects the flight of an aircraft. The video "Angle of Attack" (4:39 minutes) will be shown. Following a brief discussion, the video "Primary flight controls" will then be shown to teach the concept of how an aircraft is maneuvered in the air. The mechanical parts of the aircraft needed to make basic maneuvers, and how the pilot controls these maneuvers will be explored. Following these videos have the students navigate to the PBS site below for an interactive final review of aviation fundamentals. The test on Aviation fundamentals (see assessment below) will be given to asses student understanding of the aviation fundamentals presented in lessons 1, 2, and 3. The goal of these 3 lessons is to give the students enough knowledge, and the understanding and ability to build a glider that they can control in the air.

Lesson Time

50 minutes
1 Class Period

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Engineering & Architecture Engineering & Architecture
    • Architectural Design
    • Engineering Technology
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Engineering Design
  • Information and Communication Technologies Information and Communication Technologies
    • Networking

Standards and Objectives


California English Common Core Standards (1)
California's 2008 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • In this lesson the student will learn how the angle of attack of an airfoil increases or decreases lift.
  • In this lesson students will learn that beyond the "critical angle of attack" lift will decrease to such an extent as to cause a stall.
  • In this lesson students will learn how ailerons are used to control roll in an aircraft.
  • In this lesson students will learn how the rudder is used to control yaw in an aircraft.
  • In this lesson students will learn how the elevators are used to control pitch in an aircraft.

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